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MUSICIAN Born:

Grant Simpson

The dynamism and exhilaration that defines solo jazz piano began with the great stride piano masters of the 20s and 30s. These innovators, such as Thomas 'Fats' Waller, James P. Johnson and Willie "The Lion" Smith, pioneered a style and shaped an era that was, and continues to be, the most comprehensive and joyful jazz piano style in history . . . the style known as Stride Piano. As a teenager, I heard a recording of "Fats" Waller and was immediately captivated and inspired. I enrolled in traditional music lessons and amidst a conventional study of the classics, began "picking out" sections of the Fats Waller and James P Johnson recordings by ear. My initial excitement and enthusiasm for the stride style has flourished and grown more with every passing year. During the past 25 years as a professional pianist, I have performed in hundreds venues throughout the world including Korea, throughout the Caribbean, United States and Canada, appearing as a featured artist at many concerts and festivals including The Vancouver Dixieland Festival, Hermann's Jazz Club, on the MS Oosterdam, Montreal's Queen Elizabeth Hotel and many more

Stride and True

Label: Grant Simpson
Released: 2007
Track listing: If I Could Be With You One Hour; Dollar Dance; Load of Cole; You Can't Loose a Broken Heart; On the Street Where You Live; So Beautiful Like You; Stridin' for HJ; The Pearls; Just as Though You Were Here; How Can You Face Me?; Viper's Drag; Love of My Life; Just Before Daybreak; Echo of Spring; The Mule Walk; Whitehorse Blues.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Grant Simpson: Stride and True

Read "Stride and True" reviewed by Robert R. Calder

Grant Simpson hits the piano cleanly, and he sounds like he hits it hard. He mentions the “ever-present dry wit" of Dick Wellstood when introducing a performance of Wellstood's “Dollar Dance," whose composer called it “a distant relative" of Jelly Roll Morton's “Perfect Rag." Though it's necessary to mention Wellstood's likely influence on Simpson's slowish tempo ...


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